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Babbage the teddy bear re-creates Baumgartner skydive

Tumbling from a hydrogen balloon at 24 miles up, a plush toy shows its own daredevil mettle.

Babbage the bear may have broken Felix Baumgartner's freefall record.
Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

It's the coolest toy stunt since Canadian teens sent a Lego minifig 15 miles into the atmosphere.

A teddy bear named Babbage has sailed high above the Earth to re-create Felix Baumgartner's record-breaking skydive from last year, and may even have outdone the Austrian extreme daredevil.

The toy went up in an air balloon and fell from about 24 miles up, with reports saying it beat Baumgartner's height by about 100 feet.

Controlled by a simple Raspberry Pi computer, Babbage is owned by Dave Akerman and was launched in Berkshire in the UK.

Equipped with an overhead camera, it shot stills and video during its ascent in the hydrogen-filled balloon before jumping from its capsule and landing in a field south of Shaftesbury.

The flight and descent went well, but Akerman apparently lost the 3G signal on the way down because his phone ran out of credit. That was soon fixed and the intrepid bear was recovered from the landing site.

In October, Baumgartner, in his bid to go supersonic, set a record for the highest manned balloon ascent and highest freefall. The total duration of the descent was 9 minutes, 3 seconds.

Check out the video below showing Babbage's own amazing journey.

(Via BBC News)